Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately accelerated his plane into the French Alps, data from the plane’s second black box has revealed.
French prosecutors said: “A first reading shows that the pilot in the cockpit used the automatic pilot to descend the plane towards an altitude of 100 feet (30 metres).
“Then, several times during the descent, the pilot changed the automatic pilot settings to increase the aircraft’s speed.”
The Local reports that data from the first black box showed how Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit after persuading him to go to the toilet. Voice recordings appeared to show pilot shouting “Open the damn door!” before hitting it with a heavy object, possibly an axe or a crowbar.
The second black box was recovered on Thursday after an extensive search of the crash site. Alice Coldefy, who found the box, told AFP: “Everyone was happy. It was a relief … a relief for all the people that had been working there for a week and a half without a break,”
Police and media reports have already revealed the deeply troubled mine of Lubitz before the crash, with several sick notes, one of which was valid for the day of the crash, found torn up in his home.
All 150 people on board flight 4U9525 died when it crashed into the Alps on 24 March. Half of the passengers on board were German and more than 50 were Spanish.
Such was the impact of the crash that the wreckage has been spread over a wide area. The second black box was found buried deep within the mountain scree and took over a week for authorities to uncover.